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Can the Data Protection Act be used to prevent public interest investigations? (Guinea/ UK)

Author: Sally Lansdell, Mills & Reeve (UK), Published on: 3 March 2014

[A] recently issued claim in the High Court could have a chilling effect on the information a campaign group can collect and use...Four people associated with the mining company BSG Resources [part of Beny Steinmetz Group]...have issued a claim in the High Court requesting...an order that their personal data is not processed and that their data is deleted...The claim is against Global Witness...[who] has been investigating corruption allegations surrounding BSG Resources...gaining mining rights to Guinean iron-ore...BSG Resources...maintain that the allegations are without foundation. Global Witness argue that the High Court claim is an attempt to stifle reporting on a major corruption scandal and is an illegitimate use of the Data Protection Act 1998...[T]he [Act] provides an exemption...for “journalistic purposes”...the four claimants deny that Global Witness can rely on [this exemption]...

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